Categories
General

5 years later…

5 years ago today, at around this very time, we sat eating Reuben sandwiches for breakfast in a fancy restaurant in Nolita, New York. Hashing out a new commercial agreement with fancy execs of one of the world’s largest online payment systems.

A few hours later, a neighbourhood across, we were in Matt’s apartment with the Automattic team. Laptops on laps, clicking the “publish” button on the news that WooCommerce was being acquired by Automattic.

It was a surreal, life-altering day that will forever be laser-etched in my memory bank.

5 years later I’m in a very different season of life, working with very different businesses. But I still proudly fly the Woo flag – high fiving the small wins and celebrating the big milestones.

Poetically, today WooCommerce is launching – WooCommerce Payments. Built upon a very mature partnership with another leading payments company – Stripe. Deeply integrated for all kinds of benefit to store owners.

A partnership so impressive that “you’ll end up paying the same fees when you use WooCommerce Payments or a custom Stripe integration.”

WooCommerce featuring on Techcrunch again today – 5 years later.

Moral of the story: Significance takes time to negotiate and is built on many short term successes.

How far WooCommerce has come. Well done to the Automattic team! Onwards and upwards 🚀

Categories
Link Worthy Personal Ramblings

CCTV Lockdown

Today calls for a tiny celebration. It marks the official end of South Africa’s hard lockdown… We’ve now entered into a “Stage 4” lockdown, which is much the same, except we are now awarded morning exercise hours…

I helped Sentian put together a little light-hearted video showcasing some CCTV family keepsakes of the past 5 weeks, that their customers had sent in. It’s been a memorable chapter for all of us.

These are tough times, much tougher for some than others. South Africa always dishing out a fair share of perspective. Us with CCTV have the privilege of a house that requires protecting.

Categories
Photos

A garden visitor

Jealous of Edward (named by my boys). Lockdown doesn’t apply to spotted eagle owls. Grateful for his extended visit (most of yesterday).

I hope he returns.

Categories
General

Lockdown essential services

Yebo Fresh always felt like it was going to play a significant, socially impactful role providing for the underserved township markets of South Africa.

Last year, no one could have predicted the coronavirus, or South Africa’s crippling lockdown, but Yebo Fresh’s vision has been magnified and its scale fast-tracked to help get grocery deliveries to desperate families.

Super proud of the work this team are doing. I visited them last week at the warehouse to try document a moment in their journey. See the photos on the Yebo Fresh blog.

Categories
Tech

Video conferencing gadgetry

I’ve recently become a little obsessed over my video conferencing setup and the quality of my streams. I spend quite a bit of my week in online meetings with the various teams I work with – usually on Zoom, Google Hangouts or FaceTime .

I thought a couple of my recent gadgetry additions might be worth sharing…

  • RØDE NT-USB Microphone – This has actually been my trusted desk companion since 2015. It provides crispy clean audio. Alongside online meetings I’ve tried to ensure I capture sporadic audio snippets of conversations with the kids as they grow up and their voices evolve. For posterity.
    (I recently bought the studio boom arm to clear more desk space as it’s a fairly chunky unit)
  • Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam – I’m still on a 2014 5K iMac. I still love it. But the webcam is awful. And especially terrible in low-light. The C922 provides much better HD quality, focus and control. There are better webcams out there, but this is a notable improvement for me. I’m quite keen to explore the Elgato Cam Link 4K (to use an SLR as a webcam)
  • Elgato Key Light Air – I’m a pasty pink human on screen. I also have an office space that provides an abundance of backlight. The Elgato light provides great foreground lighting – with much flexibility over light intensity and color balance.

Categories
General

Over and out

A hearty congratulations to the Over team on a very newsworthy acquisition. Immensely proud to be a friend of the co-founders Matt Winn and Aaron Marshall and filled with gratitude to have journeyed with them as an angel investor.

An inspiring story of American friends, and a supportive family, that fell in love with Cape Town and took a huge leap of faith building a global business from here.

Categories
Link Worthy

Disrupt Africa interview

A recent interview with Disrupt Africa covering:

  • Life as a 🇿🇦 early stage investor…. after bootstrapping @WooCommerce
  • My growing curiosity in social impact investing & low-income markets
  • The startups I’m backing to succeed + what an “active” investor role means to me

Categories
Link Worthy Personal Ramblings

SME.Africa podcast

Last week I sat down with a good friend doing fantastic work in the SME space in South Africa, Marnus Broodryk.

Marnus convinced me to join him on his SME.Africa podcast. 4 years since our acquisition I enjoyed reminiscing over our journey and the learnings, however distant and fuzzy some parts feel. We also spoke about what keeps me busy these days.

Despite having a voice for print I enjoyed the interview.

Listen to “The Founder of WooThemes & WooCommerce [EP10 S2]” on Spreaker.

Categories
Personal Ramblings Photos

InstaFamous

Last week we got featured on Apple’s official @instagram account! “We” actually referring to my son – I just snapped the photo. He choreographed it.

It’s kind of mind bending to quantify a feature like this. The world’s largest company featuring a photo I took. On a social account they only post one photo a day. To an audience of 13,5 million followers. 🤯

It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into how these monster media accounts are managed. And of course the lives of InstaCelebs and social behaviour. So far the photo has had nearly 250k likes.

Categories
Personal Ramblings

Cape Cycle Tour 2019

A howling south easter made this year’s 109km cycle tour a rather challenging one.

It was however a much more enjoyable one having done a little more training than for previous attempts. Less focus on cramping muscles, and more on the beautiful peninsula views.

A road bike, and cleats were also game changing additions…